After abandoning the OUYA launch party for the pure purpose of getting our OUYA gaming on, we resisted our urge to tear the box in half and performed the obligatory yet often chastized unboxing video. We’ve seen the Dev Console unboxed, but we couldn’t go without an official unboxing of the retail-ready OUYA. It’s built better, more gorgeous, and the first run of consoles features an inscribed list of backers that includes our friends at GameFans.com.
OUYA Unboxing & Game Fans Engraving
After it’s unboxed, you know exactly what’s next – the most fun part – plugging her in and checking out the software and games!
OUYA Software Tour
When the OUYA boots up, you’re met with an attractive screen, OUYA animation, and an almost tribal-like “Ooooh Yuuuhhh!” chant. Smart move considering the pronunciation of the console is a much debated topic among those who have yet to hear it officially pronounced. Before you know it, you’re flung into the software menu and ready to explore:
If you’ve got dodgy Wi-Fi, the initial setup process might hit some snags. And be patient with the bluetooth pairing of controllers as it takes a bit to connect. But once you’re in the system, the menus are straight forward and elegant, providing a very nice user experience.
The menu is broken down into 4 sections:
- Play – this is where your downloaded games appear
- Discover – this is the store where you can find featured games, browse by categories, and spot up and coming developers in the sandbox
- Build – this is not only for app developers publishing on OUYA, but also includes a “Software” section where you can access the web browser and use a file manager to install apps by sideloading.
- Manage – you guessed it… settings and other clerical stuffs.
I’m mostly impressed with the software flow although I do have a few minor complaints. It would be nice to actually select thumbnails from each game listing and view them on the larger screen at full resolution. While you can “thumbs up” a game, I’d love to see more social interaction brought to the OUYA so I can see which of my friends like certain games or even see suggested games based on what other similar users have downloaded. I assume these will come down the road, once OUYA is a bit more stable and data mining/analysis can support related decisions. It makes sense, especially given their strict launch schedule, that they focused the vast majority of their time and energy on the core gaming experience.
It will be interesting to see what direction OUYA take their discovery system. Developers have already complained about the Sandbox, which is essentially a purgatory where every app goes when submitted, until they prove themselves as a viable top-rated option. The games are then broken down into some obvious categories like “Featured” and “Genre” but the genres themselves seem to overlap a bit as do the games. And there are some secondary sections that are very specifically themed that I assume rotate. We’ll see how all of this develops as the OUYA team collects and implements feedback.
We dicuss some of the more finicky details of the OUYA software on our OUYA Forums, but for the tl;dr, the OUYA provides a great experience out of the box but also has a lot of room for improvement and growth. Definitely not a bad position to be in for a console that launched one day ago.